Educators worry revamped ISTEP+ test will take too long
CRAWFORDSVILLE — Some Indiana educators say they’re concerned that young students won’t have the stamina to complete the more rigorous tests being rolled out this spring to measure student achievement.
Their alarm stems from testing schedules for a revamped ISTEP+ test, Indiana’s standardized test for grades 3 through 8. The exam will be administered to about 450,000 students to assess their mastery of new math and English benchmarks.
Educators say they were told last year that the new test would be more rigorous. But some say they weren’t prepared for the new assessments to take three times as long as the former test.
The Journal Review reported that testing schedules distributed by the state anticipate it will take third-grade students nine hours and 25 minutes to complete the test. Fourth-graders can expect 10 hours and 40 minutes of testing, while fifth-graders will face 10 hours and 30 minutes of testing, the newspaper reported.
Previously, third-grade students spent two hours and 30 minutes on the test.
Testing is administered over multiple days.
“I was in shock,” Pleasant Hill Elementary Principal Robin Mills said. “I have great concern over the new testing schedule. The D.O.E. (Department of Education) is going to have 8-year-olds spend nearly 11 hours taking a more difficult test. We were prepared for the more rigorous tests, but we had no idea until Monday that we should be preparing our students’ stamina for this type of testing.”
Hoover Elementary Principal Kim Nixon said she is concerned about how students with special needs who require more time for the tests will fare.
Department of Education spokesman Daniel Altman told The Associated Press on Friday that the new ISTEP+ test adds more questions to the applied skills section to meet the new standards. The open-ended questions can take more time to answer, he said.
He said the department conducted tests to get an idea of how long it should take students to complete the exam.